Officials weigh hot spot proposals

October 21, 1998|By SCOTT BUTKI

Officials are considering expanding Hagerstown's HotSpot program to include mentoring and apprenticeship programs, officials said Tuesday.

Carolyn Brooks, HotSpot program coordinator, and Dale Jones, Hagerstown police chief, gave an update on the HotSpot program on Tuesday afternoon during a joint meeting of the Washington County Commissioners and the Hagerstown City Council.

Washington County received a $221,000 grant in 1997 to create one of 36 HotSpot zones in Maryland. Local authorities designated a roughly half-mile area of Hagerstown where nearly a quarter of the county's violent crime occurs.

The county has received $110,000 for this year.

The so-called "hot spot" runs from Prospect Avenue to Memorial Boulevard and is bounded on the east and west by Prospect and Mulberry streets.


Following the presentation, Washington County Human Resources Director Alan Davis, asked the County Commissioners to take action on some of the recommended program improvements.

The commissioners voted to adopt guidelines for the Washington County/HotSpot Mentoring Program, which will be monitored by Davis and Brooks.

Davis and Brooks, joined by representatives of the Washington County Board of Education, would be in charge of selecting and matching mentors and mentor program participants, according to the program guidelines.

Davis also asked the County Commissioners and council members if they would contribute $20,000 to fund a Trades Apprenticeship Program. That program would be run through Associated Builders & Contractors and coordinated by the HotSpot program.

He said he contacted the Western Maryland Consortium to see if that agency would provide money for the program. He said consortium officials said that agency could do so only if the county could guarantee those who make it through the two-year program would be able to get jobs.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said he thought the county could make that guarantee.

The commissioners instructed Davis and other county personnel to talk further with the consortium about providing funds for the program.

After the meeting, Davis said he would get in touch with local contractors to determine whether they would be interested in participating in an apprenticeship program.

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